ACR Journal

April | May 2023 The Climate Change Act commits the UK to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This includes hard to abate areas such as refrigeration where the cooling demand is expected to increase with more frequent extreme heat events, and warmer average temperatures. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) estimates that refrigeration accounts for 6% of UK industrial electricity use, however there is large uncertainty in this figure. Refrigeration enables the safe provision of food and pharmaceuticals and reliable supply of IT infrastructure. Besides cooling for thermal comfort, common applications include domestic, transport, commercial and industrial refrigeration: in particular food and drink manufacturing, chemical and pharmaceuticals and cooling of electronic products in datacentres. Figure 1 shows the applications of cooling and their associated technologies in buildings and transportation according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). COLLABORATION 20 Catarina Marques, Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Transport, Industrial and Commercial Refrigeration Project at London South Bank University, outlines the aims of the two-year collaboration. Moving businesses towards net zero A new academic and industrial collaboration is investigating real energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from the transport, industrial and commercial refrigeration (TICR) sectors in the UK. The consortium led by London South Bank University includes Star Technical Solutions, Carbon3IT, Carbon Trust, Carbon Limiting Technologies, the University of Birmingham and the Institute of Refrigeration. Our vision is to create a comprehensive data driven and whole systems approach to support decarbonisation strategy and policy within the sector. The two-year project is funded by DESNZ and will estimate scope 1 and 2 emissions from refrigeration, develop models and roadmaps for their mitigation, identify innovations, benchmarks and best practice and produce guidance and training for manufacturers, installers and end users. It is envisaged that this work will identify policy intervention opportunities for the wider sector and quantify their impact. The ultimate aim is to support the industry on its transition to net zero. Refrigeration cooling demand and emissions Refrigeration greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) are either direct from leakage of refrigerants (scope 1 emissions) or indirect from the energy used to run the refrigeration units (scope 2 emissions). Worldwide the International Institute of Refrigeration estimated that 37% of GHG emissions from the sector are direct, whilst 63% are indirect. Accurate estimation of UK cooling demand and emissions requires wide access to both government and industry data. Data from three government sources: the National Air Emissions Inventory (NAEI) (aggregated direct emissions from refrigerant leakage across all refrigeration sectors), Energy consumption UK (ECUK) (energy consumption of industrial buildings and sectors where cooling is categorised as “refrigeration”) and non-domestic Building Energy Efficiency Survey (BEES) suggest that the emissions attributable to TICR were 8.3 MtCO2e, of which 5.2 MtCO2e were direct emissions. This figure is likely to be underestimated as it does not include energy consumption in transport refrigeration units, data centres or in the pharmaceutical industry. The ratio of direct/indirect emissions also suggest that energy consumption is widely unaccounted. The TICR consortium will undertake the first analysis comparing and contrasting data from several UK government databases to estimate scope 1 and 2 emissions from refrigeration. Data from the industry is welcomed for validation as the first step to reduce GHG emissions is to establish the baseline. Volume 9 No.3 Figure 1 – Applications of cooling and their associated technologies in buildings and transportation

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